Let me start off by saying, until now, I was not a fan of the traditional pickle. When I say pickles, I mean the ones I get to go with a sandwich because I do love me some pickled turnips (like the stuff you get at Chinese restaurants). I was just never fond of of the sour brininess of it all. Kosher, dill, half sours, I just never cared for them.
Then I read an article in the New York Times recently about Peanut Butters unrealized buddy, the pickle. While many of the people he interviewed about the little known Peanut Butter Pickle Sandwich immediately dismissed the idea, the gears in my head were already turning. Where can I get Bread-and-Butter Pickles? Do I have bread at home (I always have peanut butter)? When can I try this?
I found a jar of Bread-and-Butter pickles at my Trader Joe’s, and yes, I did indeed have bread at home. So, I threw together a Peanut Butter (Trader Joe’s creamy unsalted natural peanut butter) Pickle Sandwich (Bread: 15 Grain). I thought it was amazing. The Bread-and-Butter pickles, unlike Kosher or dill, were sweeter and less briny and complemented the peanut butter well. The crunch of the pickles also lent a very nice texture contrast to the more gooeyness of the peanut butter. Why would anyone not like this?
But then it got even more awesome.
I went to the farmers market on Saturday. Pickle Licious usually always has a booth there, but I never really stop by since I wasn’t a pickle person to begin with. But this time I decided to see if they had any sweet pickles. They do. A simple sweet pickle chip which was good and very similar to what I already had in the fridge. But just as I was about to leave, I noticed two small buckets of pickle chips wedged on the side with all the other marinated antipasta stuff they sold. One was for chili pickle chips and the other was a horseradish sweet pickle chip. I wondered…so I sampled. The horseradish sweet pickle chip was awesome. It was a sweet pickle, so it was not too briny with a great little kick from the horseradish. With the little money I had left, I got a small container and ran home to make another peanut butter pickle sandwich.
A peanut butter pickle sandwich made with horseradish sweet pickle chips was hands down the best of the two. That kick you got when eating them alone was mellowed out by the peanut butter, but there was something else that resulted from the union. A flavor I cannot put my finger on, but tasted so familiar. In a pinch, I’d say it had a more Asian flavor profile to it. Like a sweet chili sauce or something. It also wasn’t as sweet as the sandwich made with the Bread-and-Butter pickles.
Now I have to wait for next Saturday to buy a larger container of those horsradish pickle chips. If pickle licious is at your local farmers market…try them! They are pretty kickass.
If you are going to make a sandwich, just make sure you don’t skimp on the peanut butter and it might help to give the pickle chips a good shake to get as much brine off before putting in the sandwich.
I also tried to put them into a peanut butter cookie. But that didn’t work out well enough to share. I used the vegan peanut butter cookie recipe I liked alot and added some chopped up pickles. The pickle bits needed to be larger and I added an extra 1/2 cup of rolled oats for structural support. It tasted good for the most part, but because the pieces were too small, it needs to be tinkered with.
So, lesson learned here…don’t be so quick to judge. Just be willing to tinker and accept variations while keeping an open mind!